Unknown: Cave of Bones (2023) Netflix Documentary Review

Another documentary in the unknown series is dropping on Netflix. This one deals with remains found in a cave system in South Africa. The cave of Bones offers up some interesting theories, but are they sound and then do they make any sense? In South Africa’s Rising Star Cave System, paleoanthropologist Lee Berger has found the world’s oldest graveyard and it’s not human. If Lee and his team can prove that this ancient small-brained ape-like creature practiced complex burial rituals, it will change everything we know about hominid Evolution and the origins of belief.

Alright, so part of this documentary is highly intriguing, as we watch archaeologists and paleoanthropologists Traverse through this gnarly cave system, as they discover human-like bones deep within the recesses, and it’s crazy and awesome to see the side view of the cave and then to have the cameras. Show us in close-up detail how precarious certain portions are and how tiny some of the openings become. I mean drastically limiting the access, but also then raising massive questions on how the bones got so far deep into the cave as they did, and even some of the discoveries point to a possible burial ritual and maybe even cooking a food there’s a segment that shows Bones that appeared to be deliberately put into a grave type hole, something of which hadn’t really been discovered before, at least with these types of hominids and in the age that the researchers believed that they lived. Now we get to meet the lead scientist, Lee Burger, plus a couple of other researchers and the lead archaeologist who’s in charge of the actual dig, as it happens, they’re all genial and somewhat charismatic a few of them, though they really love the camera and they’re very Excited to share their hypotheses and findings, but the largest and most glaring issue is that about 99 of this comes across as pure speculation and conjecture, the scientists. They get very excited at the findings and then rattle off their thoughts on what they think motives and behaviors were, in addition to all the actions they believe the hominids carried out, but they don’t offer actual scientific evidence for these hypotheses, and this ends up feeling way.

More like a long episode of The Curse of Oak Island, where we watch a bunch of enthusiasts talk about what they think happened, and it could be just as the result of the editing process, but so many assumptions are presented here. The researchers here already point out at different times how areas of the Cave System have collapsed, especially towards the front of the cave, limiting how areas are accessed, but then they’re perfectly willing to stick to the assumption that the hominids carried out they’re dead through insanely tight Spaces and over large crevasses to bury them rather than consider the possibility that the area that they found the remains could have had another opening or maybe a shaft at some point long ago. That’S just no longer accessible. Now, there’s a lot of guessing when it comes to Tool, use and scratches found on walls. Now, there’s assumptions made about how and why a particular Rock was found where it was it caught me off guard it was actually astonishing and how wantingly the researchers just automatically dive into their Narrative of the importance and worth of this rock, and the same goes for Lines that are found on the walls of a cave I mean they may actually have meaning or significance, but all were shown.

Is the scientists drooling over their their own thoughts about what they could mean? I mean, is it art? Is it a form of communication or maybe record keeping the documentary doesn’t ever spend the time to give us facts that could back up all the assumptions that are presented now. I went into this documentary with a lot of anticipation and hope I mean I hadn’t watched the trailer, but anything that takes us through vast cave systems to discover bones or even Signs of Life from long ago. It makes me very interested, and especially in seeing what’s uncovered there, I’m even willing to go along with some assumptions, but when every aspect seems to be based on the researcher’s own beliefs rather than archaeological data, it kind of goes off the rails and becomes annoying.

Now I find myself really enjoying the footage of the cave system and it’s claustrophobic and perilous and plus the potential for discovery that was exciting, there’s even a segment that features some well-crafted animation. It helps to illustrate what the scientists believe happened. It’S also just a creative way of detailing out what could have otherwise been just boring Exposition. I mean just know, though, that it still doesn’t provide the evidence to back up, what’s actually being narrated, and I just needed this based more on facts or data, I’m good with a hypothesis, but beyond that we’re not shown anything scientific, just postulation by three dudes who Were all excited by what they find that then leads them to dream about what it could mean. I’M not even saying that they’re wrong in their hypothesis – I don’t know, but we’re not given the info to even help us come alongside them other than to be caught up in their excitement and believe, along with them simply out of just the fervor now.

This is just about 90 minutes long and, while the time went by rather quickly, the lack of objective science, that’s delivered, makes us a big waste of time and really a disappointing watch. One huge positive that did come out of seeing this is that I’d never even heard of the rising star cave system. Now I can dive in myself and read all about it and balance out the excitement with data. I really hope other documentaries are delivered on this topic and that they take the time to not only show us the findings but also backup theories with solid evidence. At least even correlating, what’s been found here to what has been discovered in other areas of world.

To show parallels that could then begin to support a hypothesis there’s no sex or nudity, maybe a tiny bit of profanity no violence. As a reminder, I don’t give couch ratings to documentaries, but I can’t recommend watching unknown Cave of Bones on Netflix. This one just turned out to be a big bummer, so watch at your own risk. Okay, so would you go spelunking into a complex Cave System? I like to think that I would, but my imagination Also may get the best of me and have me dwell on all the nasty possibilities that could have happened.

If I was down there plus, you know I’ve seen The Descent so there’s that. But let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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